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Home Security and Protection

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An officer in a cruiser

Door Security

  • Install a good deadbolt lock
  • Install good quality dead bolts, locks and a wide angle "peep hole"
  • If you have children, consider including a second peep-hole at a child's height
  • All hinges should be accessible from the interior of the home only
  • Ensure your door is equipped with non-removable hinge pins
  • Most doors are installed with screws less than 1" in length. Door kick break-ins are common, so door screws should be at least 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches long

Window Security

  • Sliding doors and windows can be "lifted" out of the tracks with relative ease. Install screws or a blocking device above the sliding door or window to prevent it from being lifted off the tracks
  • Install a snug piece of wood in the track of sliding patio doors
  • Install a pin into the frame of a sliding window to prevent it from being pushed open
  • Glass within 40 inches of a door lock can be broken and a criminal can reach inside to unlock the door. The security of windows can be improved by adding a polycarbonate panel. Call a glass specialist for details.

Additional Protection Tips

  • Instead of hiding a key outside your home, give a spare key to a trusted neighbor/friend
  • Install a good padlock on garages for better security
  • Consider putting lights on timers so it appears you're at home. Have lights turn on and off in different rooms, at varying times
  • Never open the door to strangers - ask for identification from service personnel and confirm their attendance with the company
  • Never allow anyone into your home to use the phone - call for them
  • Don't let anyone know you are home alone
  • Keep bushes and landscaping trimmed in order to allow for natural surveillance of your home from neighbours, pedestrians and people passing by
  • Never leave notes advising you are not home on your door for delivery people
  • Report suspicious people and/or vehicles to police immediately
  • Avoid putting your name on a gate, sign, or mailbox. This gives thieves a chance to look your name up in the phone book and call you under a false pretense
  • Cut back any tree limbs that might help a thief get access to any second storey windows
  • Be sure to lock up tools and ladders in the shed or the garage. Accessible tools can be used to break into your home
  • Be sure your home is equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Be a good neighbour. Report any suspicious activities in and around your neighbourhood
  • Use high beams upon entering the garage and have a good look around before you leave the safety of your car

If your home has been broken into - do not enter!  Call 9-1-1 immediately.

While You Are Away

  • Put lights on timers to give the impression someone is home
  • Tell a trusted neighbour your vacation plans and provide emergency contact numbers
  • Do not post comments on social media sites telling people you're out of town
  • Do not post pictures while you are away. Wait until you get home
  • Ask a neighbour to park in your driveway
  • Keep small valuables in a safe deposit box
  • Remember to suspend newspaper delivery
  • Have someone mow your lawn/shovel your driveway
  • Record your valuables. Identify your property by engraving an identifying mark, such as a unique number, on to it. Proper identification may deter thieves and makes it easier for the police to return property if recovered. Keep your insurance policies current
  • Always think of personal safety. Upon returning home, scan the front of your home
  • Keep blinds and shades at their normal position

Prevent Vehicle Theft

  • Do not leave your vehicle running while unattended
  • Maintain control of your keys at all times
  • Always lock your vehicle, even while in the driveway
  • When possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage
  • Don't leave keys hanging inside the door, especially if they can be seen from outside
  • Ensure valuables are in the trunk or out of view

Highrise Security

As a tenant:

  • Do not permit someone you don't know enter the building
  • Never leave an external door propped open
  • Put only your first initial on the directory
  • Get to know your neighbours
  • Use building facilities during active times
  • Report suspicious activity

As a landlord:

  • Post signs near the main doors; on the outside: "We cannot open the door to strangers." On the inside: "Do not open the door to strangers."
  • Facilitate introductions for new residents
  • Keep the property well maintained with working lights and well lit areas
  • Start a Neighbour Watch Program

Safety in Underground Parking Lots

  • Be aware if someone follows you into the underground parking area
  • Always check for suspicious people or vehicles before entering the garage or leaving your vehicle. If you see something suspicious notify security or police
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle
  • Always lock your vehicle
  • Check your vehicle before you get in
  • Once inside your vehicle, lock the doors

Elevator Safety

  • Observe passengers in the elevator. If you do not feel comfortable, wait for the next one
  • If possible, be the last to enter the elevator and be the last to indicate your floor
  • Stand with your back to the sidewall, near the control panel
  • If attacked, press as many floor buttons as possible
  • If someone suspicious enters the elevator, make your exit at the same time

Safety in Laundry Rooms and Other Building Amenities

  • Time your trips during active periods when others are present or use the buddy system
  • If you must go alone, tell someone where you'll be
  • Look into the room before entering it
  • Report suspicious activity to security or police

If Your Home Has Been Entered

  • Do not enter - the criminal may still be inside
  • Call 9-1-1 from your cellphone or a neighbour's phone
  • Advise the landlord or security
  • Try not to touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence
  • Note descriptors if you observed a suspicious vehicle(s) or person(s) and the direction of travel

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch is a program supported by police and maintained by the community. It's simple - neighbours looking out for one another to help prevent crime and keep communities safe. York Regional Police can assist you in starting a Neighbourhood Watch Program in your area. Here's how:

  • Contact York Regional Police and ask for a Crime Prevention Officer in your District
  • The officer will help organize a meeting with people in your community
  • If there's support for the program, a subsequent meeting will be held to determine an overall coordinator and several block captains
  • Once the leadership is established, police can help facilitate regular meetings and help organize community events